Many campus goers sit at the small round tables chit-chatting away about whatever happens to be the topic at hand. Others sit in a comfortable silence, but all seem to be enjoying the atmosphere at Fireside Café. But that atmosphere won’t be around for much longer.
Fireside and the rest of the Campus Center will be closing after the last final exam this December. The facilities won’t reopen until late August of next year once the renovation and expansion is completed.
Students concerned about where to go to get their breakfast or late night snacks might be pointed in the direction of Huden Dining Hall, which will “continue Fireside’s cash operations in the Alumni Room,” said Bill Allen, dean of administration.
“I have extreme confidence in Aramark to make this work,” said Allen, who spoke confidently about the upcoming transition.
“I’m really more concerned about the breakfast thing,” said senior Patrick Duffy. “If it’s at Huden but it’s the same food Fireside has to offer, then I’m fine with it.”
Fireside’s faithful employees said they aren’t too concerned about all the changes, but they are talking about them.
Maureen Breslin has been working at Fireside’s establishment for more than eight years now.
“I’ve been through all this before,” she said, as she fidgeted with one of her well-known pigtails. “So it’s not the first time for me, but I’ll admit, it does get hectic.”
Breslin hopes that this new renovation will bring some improvements to the café, ones others might not notice.
“I believe we might be getting another walk-in freezer,” she said, “which would be a great help to us.”
Some students, however, are fixated on what to do when their stomachs start to growl past typical dinner hours.
“I don’t really like the idea of sitting at a cafeteria table at ten o’clock at night,” said freshman student, Josh Bashaw, shaking his head.
Bashaw, along with fellow students Alex Racine and Dave Richards, all agreed that Fireside has a natural, laid back atmosphere that they enjoy, and agreed that it’s worth the walk from their home in Ellis Hall.
There’s also a dilemma presented to Castleton’s student athletes who will be in-season while Fireside is undergoing construction. In the past, some teams have relied on Fireside’s policy of ‘transferability’ if their practice ran later than Huden’s regular dining hours. These teams will have nowhere to eat if Huden doesn’t extend time for later food consumption.
“My first concern is that, I hope Huden will stay open later,” said Dante Reynolds, a sophomore member of the men’s lacrosse team. “Our bodies physically require refueling after practice and I’d really see a disadvantage to us athletes if it didn’t stay open later.”
Allen said not to worry.
“We’re not going to take any services away from anybody,” he said. “Things are just going to be in different locations.”
While Allen believes that the transition may be slightly uncomfortable at first, he says that the results are going to be absolutely phenomenal, and that “it’s worth a little inconvenience for what we’re going to have in the end.